Friday, May 28, 2010

Spring Quilt Festival

 Indiana Roadside
48 x 48

Amy is having the Spring Quilt Festival, which I almost missed.  Here's my entry, made about five years ago.  I love Queen Anne's Lace and the way it looks blooming wild along the roadside.  (I'm not a groomed-and-manicured-lawn kind of girl.)  For a long time I wanted to put it into a quilt, but it's a very hard flower to reproduce effectively.  Finally I decided to just use blocks of greens, tans, and white, arranged to imitate the color placement in a photograph I'd taken, and using a block that would give an effect of light and shadow filtering through the foliage.  Here's the result.  I still like this quilt after all this time, which is a rare thing for me.   It's the North Wind block, set so that there are alternating squares of light and dark.  I love that block too.

Take some time to look at all the other wonderful quilts on display.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May Interpret This

Spring Dreams
16 x 14

I went very literal this month; I'm not sure why that seemed the best thing to do, but it also worked into my tight schedule since I didn't change my mind several times.

Everything is simple and straight forward except for the tree, where I wanted to add a texture to suggest the softness of the blossoms and change the color a bit.   I wet the fabric, twisted it until it doubled back on itself into a ball, put rubber bands around it, and then stuffed the ball into the toe of an old nylon footie until it dried; drying takes about a week. ( I guess this is a kind of dye-less shibori.)  I did this about the first day of the month, which was fortunate, because when I came home from my unplanned trip, the fabric was dry. 
Then I opened it, smoothed it a little and fused it to a piece of light weight interfacing.
Stitching at random back and forth adds texture and holds the wrinkles in place.  Lots of different decorative stitches, threads, and couched fibers can be used, but I kept it simple here.  Then I pressed a freezer paper pattern to the textured fabric, stitched around it to keep the edges flat,  and cut out the tree shape.

Since I wanted to do the branches with reverse applique, I marked their outline on the freezer paper and stitched around that too; then when the tree was in place I stitched again around the branch outline, and cut to reveal the branch fabric I'd placed underneath.

Since the tree fabric already had lots of stitching, I just quilted in a circular pattern to emphasize the design in the fabric, then added the beads for more texture.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

If at First You Don't Succeed...

You may remember an earlier version of this--terrible piecing.  Here it is again, paper pieced.  Did that solve the problems?  Not entirely, although it might be passible.   Those tiny things are VERY hard to match, the paper is thick, it slipped, and of course solid on solid shows every error.  There's also the matter of reverse images, and I had a devil of a time with those slanted stem pieces, finally just making the ends oversized and trimming them.  I'm ashamed to say how long it took to make this block; we'll just say I worked on it both Sunday and Monday afternoon.  It doesn't even shout "HARD TO DO!" like some blocks do, but I think it's the most difficult piecing I've ever done.  Do I want to make three more?  I think not.  I'll just admit defeat.   Pretty, isn't it?  Sigh...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Non-Fiber Content

It's a real slump here.  I finished my IT! piece several days ago, (I almost typed years--does that mean something?), and haven't touched the sewing machine since.  What have I been doing?  Well, I have unpacked stuff that I packed before the painter came.  Amazing how time consuming that can be.

Here's a general idea of the color of the dining room; it's only approximate because the light is bad in that room in the summer.  The painting is one I bought last winter, done by a local artist.  I love winter scenes, and the muted colors of this one really appeal to me, although telling people that I bought a painting of an alley in Mishawaka produces some strange looks.

 I've also been shopping.  I haven't shopped for ages, and it's like rediscovering the world to wander around some stores.  I've bought clothes and household gadgets, ordered new blinds for one of the bedrooms, and flowers for the deck.

I will get back into the sewing room soon, maybe this afternoon in fact.  Watch for the Interpret This! reveals beginning tomorrow.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I'm thankful that my mother's condition has stabilized and that I am back home, and grateful for other things as well.

Thank you dear blogging friend who bought the two texture studies from Alzheimer's Quilts Initiative.  This helped me make the $1000 Challenge goal!   As an unexpected bonus I received a package of beautiful fabric from Beth Hartford at QuiltersStitchTogether

and a generous gift certificate from Embellishment Village, which I promptly spent.  That was fun!

I'm thankful that the painting which had just started when my mother went into the hospital is finished and that I like the way it looks.  Now if I can get all the pictures rehung, china back in the cabinet, books in bookcases...

Ghost Orchids is back finally and put away.  Yesterday I began some work on my Interpret This! challenge, and this blob may appear there.  The new fabric would work too, but I'm already committed.

But it's looking more and more like the Hoffman Challenge won't happen this year, at least for me.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bits and Pieces

I've been in Missouri for a week, with my mother's medical emergency.  I'd planned a trip anyway, but it has turned out to be earlier and perhaps longer than expected.   I'm not doing any fabric work now, but some of my quilts have been busy.

Wendy has created a new blog, Quilt Porn, where she plans to show one quilt that she likes every day, without comment.  She chose my IT! piece Down to the Root for show the first week. I'm flattered, especially since the other choices are so interesting.  Thanks, Wendy.

Deb Geyer is quilting my blue basket quilt.  You can see it in progress on her blog.  Her quilting is going to enhance this quilt, for sure.

I sent  my white Texture Study and the black texture study to Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative and they are now listed on the Quilts for Sale page.  If anyone would be interested in helping the cause,  look at my blog pictures for a more accurate idea of what these two pieces really look like.

And finally, I sent Ghost Orchids to an exhibit in Florida in January.  Two weeks ago when the exhibit ended the quilt was supposed to return.  It's been a real saga of confusion,  missed instructions,  and lost UPS labels.  The quilt is still in storage apparently, waiting.  I don't know what will happen.

Monday, May 03, 2010

A Pretty Mess

Literally.  This is a charming block, but clearly the piecing will not pass.  My Quilt Pro program will no longer print foundations for paper piecing (who knows why), and the templates which the computer prints are not accurate.  So--I tried to figure this out for myself.  I could do that, now that I have figured out how to read the rotary cutting instructions which would eliminate some of the obvious errors, but there are a few bits that defeat me, like that second stem piece.  That's not any standard angle.

Paper piecing is the obvious choice for this block, and there was a time when I would have drawn the foundations myself.  But I'm not inclined to do that this time.   So a certain challenge may just have to get along without me this year.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

May Interpret This

It's a lovely spring photo, open to all sorts of interpretations.  I'm not sure what I'll do yet, but I hope I can decide, and not go around and around as I did last month.  We finally have the painter coming this week, which will tear up most of the house, and then on Friday I'm leaving for a week in Missouri for family business, so that won't leave much time.  I hope to accomplish a little before I leave so I can finish by the reveals.